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Impact of Socio-Economic Characteristics on Food Insecurity Status: Evidence from Rural Households in Sri Lanka

Authors:

K. K. H. M. Rathnayake ,

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya, LK
About K. K. H. M.
Department of Agribusiness Management, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
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P. Sivashankar,

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya, LK
About P.
Department of Agribusiness Management, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
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D. A. M De Silva

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya, LK
About D. A. M
Department of Agribusiness Management, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
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Abstract

Recent attention has been focused on means of eliminating food insecurity and hunger worldwide. Food security includes three dimensions, viz, availability, access and utilization. In the absence of any of these conditions, it can be considered as food insecurity. The aim of this study was to identify determinants of food insecurity status of rural households in Sri Lanka, using secondary data from a nationally representative sample data-set, the household income and expenditure survey of the Department of Census and Statistics. The analysis was carried out in two stages. In the first stage, the food insecurity index was determined and in the second stage ordered logistic regression model was executed to estimate the food insecurity status of the households as a function of a set of independent variables. The food insecurity index was determined by using a proxy variable based on the percentage of each household’s total expenditures devoted to food. Descriptive statistic results indicated that the percentages of food insecure and secure households were 54% and 46% respectively. The two-sample t-test and proportion test results suggested that there were significant differences of means in human capital variables between food secure and food insecure households. The results of the ordered logistic regression model revealed that if the household head was a female and educated, it would decrease the vulnerability of household to become food insecure, and if a household has a higher number of members who completed the secondary education, higher number of workers, lower young dependents and old dependents, food insecurity status of rural households in Sri Lanka would be reduced. In conclusion, the findings of this study support the empirical literature on the importance of human capital development in food insecurity status.
How to Cite: Rathnayake, K.K.H.M., Sivashankar, P. and De Silva, D.A.M., 2019. Impact of Socio-Economic Characteristics on Food Insecurity Status: Evidence from Rural Households in Sri Lanka. Journal of Food and Agriculture, 12(2), pp.1–12. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jfa.v12i2.5219
Published on 28 Dec 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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